Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, we have the return of both Noam Chimpsky and his co-creator, PJ Holden to the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2234… out on 2 June from the 2000 AD web shop, and all good newsagents and comic shops!

After plenty of appearances playing second fiddle to Judge Dredd, Mega-City One’s super-smart simian vigilante now get his very own series, from writer Kenneth Niemand and artist PJ Holden – it’s time for Chimpsky’s Law: The Talented Mr Chimpsky.

So, without further ado… over to PJ Holden…

PJ HOLDEN: It started something like this..

“Matt! Matt! Can I do a Chimpsky cover?”
“Ok, but the Prog for episode 1 we have a cover for, best I can do is episode 3…”

And off I go…

Episode 3 has Chimpsky about to be sucked out of an airlock, so I knew there’d be a few things I could play with there – and a more action-packed Chimpsky cover too!

(Well, somewhere along the line, things changed and this is now the cover of the Prog with the first episode… but, by happy circumstance, it also starts off with Chimpsky being sucked out the airlock!)

PJ HOLDEN: I set up my cover-image-template-idea-sheet and started banging out some ideas

1. Big head Chimpsky (one white/possibly with black with stars behind?) [ok, not terribly imaginative, but I was thinking “COLLECTION!”]
2. Chimpsky being sucked towards the door.
3. Chimpsky being sucked to the door, but reaching to grab something.
4. Abstract Chimpsky lost in space background (very Saul Bass).
5. Chimpsky grabbing the other chimp.
6. Chimpsky surrounded by Jeppersons.
7. Chimpsky and the other ape.
8. Chimpsky being sucked towards door, but much closer on his face in panic.
9. Slightly abstract, Chimpsky shaped head with panels on the inside with various suspicious Jeppersons….

Matt liked the Saul Bass idea (I mean, I didn’t tell him I didn’t know how to do that, it just sounded like a cool idea and essentially I nicked it from the Vertigo Poster…)

And about 25 minutes later, I had this …

I admit it didn’t take any time at all, but some drawings are just … quicker than others!

Anyway, I was sitting with it, and after batting it over to Dylan Teague I figured I could make it pop a little more and ended up with the final piece.

Not sure how the readers will react to this, I know the message board really liked the previous Chimpsky covers and this is very different so we’ll see. But I do think whoever thought of Plummet of the Apes deserves some extra oil rations…

I really am going to have to pitch a more action packed Chimpsky cover at some point, one where he’s mid-flight!

And speaking of Chimpsky in mid-flight… how about this to tempt you? Remember what PJ was saying about Chimpsky being sucked out the airlock… well, here’s part of the first page of 2000 AD Prog 2234’s The World According to Chimpsky

Gorgeous! And there’s more of that to look forward to in Prog 2234.

But with that, PJ was off, something about seeing what other Saul Bass covers he could come up with and reckoning he was really onto something and then going off about how Rory McConville still hasn’t gotten back to him about the Dept K & Conan crossover… you’ll need to read the Department K interview for more on that, I’m afraid.

You can find PJ’s great cover to 2000 AD Prog 2234 on the shelves of your local newsagent or comic shop now, or pick it up in digital from the 2000 AD web shop!